As I walk through the nursery today, things are quiet. The mornings have been misty and cold, but the sun is just starting to lift the moisture from the Earth and break apart the white-gray sky. The smells of the fall Earth are rising from the ground. Soon, the breeze will slowly rise, and more golden leaves of our giant maple will flutter back into the soil.
The holiday season quickly approaches. Most years, we just let the holidays pass us by here at the nursery. This year, however, we wanted to try to make some positive change in the culture of consumerism that swirls around us. Instead of countless dead presents with a limited shelf-life, what if we gave the miracle of living things that grow and reseed, and keep on giving back? Instead of landfills, we would have land full of abundance. If we could replace even a hundred plastic gifts with a hundred plants, we thought that would be something to celebrate.
Likewise, instead of countless people taking advantage to produce cheap goods around the world, what if we gave our money to local and healthy work environments? Our employees regularly say it's the best work environment they've ever worked in because they know they will be honored for whatever they are going through. Since they want to be here and care about what we do, there's no need for pressure to motivate them. It is humane in every sense of the word. If we could replace even a few thousand dollars of the income going to corporate monoliths with money going into our local community, that would also be something to celebrate!
So, we're jumping on the "Small Business Saturday" train and offering special sales and gift-wrapping options. If you'd like to support a small, value-driven business with a deep connection to the Earth, I invite you to support our little nursery and spread the magic of native plants through your web of relationships! We'd be happy to put extra wrapping love into our packages for free and send them directly to your loved ones before the holiday. Our plants are already wonderfully wrapped, but if you choose, they'll have some extra holiday flare this year!
In the meantime, as the flurry of holiday hubbub grows, maybe take a lesson from the plant world itself: stay simple. Family and friends, meals, the warmth of the fire, and of course, a healthy dose of easeful Fall gardening. Let the season ring like an echo in your heart, as your body remembers this simpler, quieter, darker, and slower time of year. Even though the larger cacophony of chaos in the outside world never stops, find a little patch of Earth where the simple flow of the seasons dominates the airwaves. Breathe in deep. Then, as the outside colors dampen into winter grays, your inner experience can become richer, sweeter, and even warmer.
Happy Holidays, from the crew at NFN